Asafoetida, also known as devil's dung, stinking gum, asant and by many other names, is extensively used for the purpose of cooking in many parts of the world, especially India. The botanical name for asafoetida is Ferula Foetida. It has a pungent smell when raw, but it adds a smooth flavor in cooked dishes. Due to the strong and unpleasant odor of raw asafoetida, it is mostly stored in airtight containers. The aroma is capable of contaminating other spices as well. In India, asafoetida is used to commonly used to flavor spicy curries, stir-fries, sauces and in pickles. Asafoetida has also displayed some amazing medicinal properties and nutrition benefits. Read the article to know about the health and nutrition benefits of eating Asafoetida.
Health & Nutrition Benefits Of Eating Asafoetida
- Asafoetida is effective in curing spasmodic disorders and is also good for relieving flatulence. It aids in digestion as well.
- It is believed that Asafoetida offers a cure for hysteria. Inhaling the gum has the potential to prevent attacks of hysteria.
- Asafoetida is also used to remedy respiratory problems, such as bronchitis, asthma and whooping cough. Mix 3-6 cm of asafetida gum with 2 spoons of honey, a spoonful of betel leaf juice and a quarter spoon of white onion juice should be taken thrice a day.
- A host of problems in women can be treated by Asafoetida, such as leucorrhoea, difficult and painful menstruation, premature labor, unwanted abortion and sterility.
- Asafoetida is also known to treat impotency. It is believed that a mixture of 6 centigrams of asafoetida, fried in ghee/clarified butter and mixed with a spoonful of fresh latex from a banyan tree and honey should be taken daily for 40 days to help alleviate the condition.
- Asafoetida is prescribed to women post-childbirth as it is good for digestion and contains anti-flatulence properties. During the post-delivery period, it is believed to be extremely beneficial for women.
- Asafoetida has the potential to bring relief from toothache. When mixed with limejuice, Asafoetida becomes warm and relieves the pain of an aching tooth. A cotton swab dabbed in this mixture can be placed on the cavity for more relief.
- Asafoetida is quite often administered to opium addicts as it acts as an antidote to opium. In contrast, it can also act as a sedative and helps in lowering blood pressure.
- Due to its pungent smell, asafetida acts as a natural pesticide. Researches have established that treating jowar seeds with asafoetida make them resistant to disease and drought and consequentially, increases their yield.
- Asafoetida possesses anti-biotic properties and keeps a check on the growth of microbes. Thus, it is used in pickles and sauces as a preservative.
When consumed in excess, asafoetida can cause side-effects like skin rashes, stomach burning, swollen lips, nausea and vomiting. It also works to thin blood and is therefore, not recommended for infants. Therefore, it is important to take care that while cooking, asafoetida is used in moderate amounts.